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Publication numberUS3375365 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 26, 1968
Filing dateOct 12, 1965
Priority dateOct 12, 1965
Publication numberUS 3375365 A, US 3375365A, US-A-3375365, US3375365 A, US3375365A
InventorsGross Louis E
Original AssigneeUnity Mfg Company
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automobile light
US 3375365 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

-March 26, 1968 L. E. GROSS AUTOMOBILE LIGHT Filed 001;. 12, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet l jaza'alwmwt WPW/ March 26, 1968 E, GRbss 3,375,365

AUTOMOBILE LIGHT Filed on. 12, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet z fizz/@227 01145 Z70/"056, @Z/ 6 mm 22am, @f/M/f' United States Patent C) 3,375,365 AUTOMOBILE LIGHT Louis E. Gross, Chicago, Ill., assiguor to Unity Manufacturing Company, Chicago, Ill., a corporation of Illinois Filed Oct. 12, 1965, Ser. No. 495,277 3 Claims. (Cl. 240--7.1)

ABSTRACT OF THE "DISCLOSURE An automobile light which is mounted to a luggage carrier rack unit adapted to mount to the roof of an automobile. The light includes an elongate bar normally extending substantially horizontally and pivotable into a vertical position.

The present invention relates to automobile lights and more particularly to an automobile light integral to an automobile luggage carrier.

A major safety deficiency in present automotive design is that all of the rear lights, such as the tail lights, brake lights and turn indicator lights, are mounted at a relatively low position on the automobile. In congested trafi'ic these lights are only visible to the immediately following vehicle. This is particularly hazardous under modern freeway conditions where it is a casual factor in multiple vehicle rear end collision accidents. The low positioning of the rear lights is also a factor in the safety problem associated with vehicles parked or disabled at the side of the highway. It is clear that rear lights are more appropriately located above the top of the vehicle. However, there has been a problem in providing a suitable light and mounting structure therefor for such a car-top mounting.

It is a general object of the present invention to overcome the above and other problems.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a novel automobile light adapted to serve as a disabled vehicle light.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a novel automobile light adapted to light a luggage carrier for assistance in loading the luggage carrier.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a novel automobile light which is a component of an automobile luggage rack, and is carried thereby above the top of an automobile for greatly improved visibility.

The invention, together with further objects and advantages thereof will be better understood by reference to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a rear view of an exemplary automobile light assembly in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the automobile light assembly of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a rear view of one of the automobile lights of FIGS. 1-2;

FIG. 4 is a plan view of the automobile light of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a side view of the automobile light of FIGS. 3-4;

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 6--6 in FIG. 3; and

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 7-7 in FIG. 5.

Turning now to the drawings and referring specifically to FIG. 1 there is shown therein an automobile light assembly 10 including a pair of light bars 12 and 12' forming a part of the rear of automobile luggage rack sections 14 and 14' and supported thereby spaced above an automobile roof 16. It may be seen that the light bars 12 and 12' are preferably rotatably mounted so that either or both may be rotated from a normal horizontal position to a vertical position.

Considering the rack sections 14 and 14', they together define an' automobile luggage carrier. Each rack section preferably provides the sole support and mounting for one of the light bars and supports the light bar in spaced relationship above the automobile roof 16. Preferably the two separate allochiral rack sections 14 and 14' each are adapted to separately mount to the automobile roof 16. The mounting base preferably includes a plurality of elongate roof top runners 20, a flexible transverse base strip 22 connecting the runners, and a mounting bracket 24 at each end of the base strip 22. Preferably each rack section includes four identical mounting brackets 24, one at the inside and one at the outside of the rack section at each end thereof. Extending vertically from each mounting bracket 24 is a stanchion. Preferably there are two inner stanchions 26 located at the inside of the rack section at the front and rear thereof. Two outer stanchions 28 are located at the outside of the rack section at the front and rear thereof.

Preferably integral with and extending between each inner stanchion 26 and each outer stanchion 28 is a horizontal luggage retaining rail. Preferably there is a front retaining rail 30 extending across the front of the rack section and a rear retaining rail 32 extending across the rear of the rack section. It may be seen that the rear retaining rail 32 is spaced substantially above the automobile roof top and parallel thereto, transverse the automobile roof.

Each rack section preferably has a side retaining rail 34 which extends along only the outside thereof. In the disclosed embodiment the side retaining rail 34 is defined by an elongate tubular member which extends between and connects with the upper ends of the outer stanchions 28. Preferably an end of the side retaining rail 34 extends a substantial distance beyond (to the rear of) the rearmost outer stanchion 28. A decorative end cap 36 is preferably fixed over this extending end of the side retaining rail 34.

Turning now to the light bar 12, it is preferably identical to, or a mirror image of, the light bar 12. Preferably the light bar 12 has an elongate streamlined and low profile con-figuration, so as to provide an elongate light area with a minimum of wind resistance and vibration. An outside end 38 of the light bar is preferably adapted to pivot-ally mount to the outside rear of each of the rack sections. This is preferably provided by having in the outside end 38 a cylindrical aperture 40 perpendicular the elongate dimension of the light bar. The aperture 40 has an internal diameter corresponding to the outside diammeter of the rearwardly projecting end of the side retaining rail 34 so that the aperture 40 may be slidably mounted over this projecting end. Accordingly, the entire light bar is rotatable about its outside end 38 at the outside of the rack section 12. As may be particularly seen in FIG. 7, the outside end 38 of the light bar may be provided with a resilient arcuate leaf spring 42 which projects into the cylindrical aperture 40. This or other suitable structures provide a means for frictionally maintaining the light bar in any rotatable position to which it is moved, and in particular, serves .to retain the light bar in a ventical position when it is rotated thereto.

The light bar '12 is preferably axially retained on the side retaining rail 34 by the end cap 36 which fits over and is secured to the outermost end of the side retaining rail 34. The outside end 38 of the light bar is thus held between the end cap 36 and the outer stanchion 28 through which the side retaining rail 34 projects. In its normal horizontal position the light bar is slightly below, parallel, and slightly to the rear of the rear retaining rail 32 and therefore protected by the rear retaining rail.

Considering now the inside end 46 of the light bar 12, this end is preferably provided with releasable securing or locking means for rigidly connecting the inside end of the light bar to the inside of the rack section 14 at the inner stanchion 26, and thereby maintaining the light bar in its normal horizontal position. Exemplary securing means illustrated herein comprise a bolt 48, which has a knurled head so that it may be hand tightened. The bolt 48 extends through the inside end 46 of the light bar and screws into the inner stanchion 26. A good securing means to maintain the light bar in its horizontal position is important since the light bar is subject to considerable vibration from wind and road noise.

Considering the principal portion of the light bar extending between its inside end 46 and its outside end 38, a preferred configuration includes an elongate continuous I-beam member 50, illustrated in cross-section in FIG. 6. The I-beam member '50 provides structural integrity for the light bar and also serves to retain the lenses and provides mountings for the electrical lights therein.

The preferred lighting arrangement in the light bar 12 preferably includes a pair of elongate translucent windows extending continuously along the front and rear sides thereof over substantially the entire length of the light bar. As particularly shown in FIG. 6 there is preferably a translucent white lens 54 enclosing the rear surface of the light bar and a corresponding red or amber lens 56 enclosing the front surface of the light bar. Both lenses are preferably generally oval or semi-circular in shape and may be extruded Plexiglas, Lucite or other suitable material. Preferably both lenses have elongate stratifications in the internal surfaces thereof to diffuse or evenly spread the light projected therethrough along the light bar, thereby providing the appearance of an even light source along the entire length of the bar. The white lens 54 provides a white Working light forward on the automobile which lights the entire luggage carrier enabling the luggage carrier to be easily loaded or unloaded at night. The red lens 56 provides a highly visible rear light for the vehicle. Preferably both lenses are constructed so that the opposite edges thereof are secured under the opposite flange portions of the I-beam member 50, abutting the web portion, as may be clearly seen from FIG. 6. Screws or other suitable fastening means may be employed to hold each lens against the I-beam member 50.

The exemplary electrical light structure for the light bar 12 disclosed herein comprises a plurality of evenly spaced electric lights 58 adapted to connect with the automobile electrical system. The lights 58 may employ conventional automobile lamps or other suitable light sources. The connection to the automobile electrical system may be provided by the electrical wire 60 extending from the outside end 38 of the light bar through the automobile roof 16. Preferably each of the lights '58 is located in one of a plurality of spaced apertures 52 in the web of the I-beam member 50. Accordingly, the light produced by each light 58 projects simultaneously through the white lens 54 and the red lens 56.

It will be appreciated that the lights 58 may be variously connected to the automobile electrical system. For example, the lights 58 may all be connected to provide tail lights, brake lights or turn indicator lights. It is also possible to connect various combinations of individual lights 58 to provide a combination of the above functions.

The automobile light assembly provides a highly visible disabled vehicle warning light. By simply unfastening the bolt 48 and tilting one or more of the light bars to a vertical position as indicated in FIG. 1, a highly visible extended vertical column of light is provided extending vertically upward from the automobile roof. Where the lights 58 are connected to the turn indicator control this vertical column light may be made to flash, providing additional visual indication.

In view of the foregoing description it is clear that there has been provided here-in a new and improved light assembly providing greatly improved visibility and safety and other advantages as described hereinabove. While the embodiment described herein is at present considered to be preferred it will be understood that numerous variations and modifications may be made therein by those skilled in the art, and it is intended to cover in the appended claims all such variations and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

1. In combination:

a luggage carrier rack adapted to mount to the top of an automobile said luggage carrier rack having two separate rack sections, each said rack section having a front and rear, an inside, an outside and mounting base means for mounting said rack sections to an automobile roof;

an elongate bar extending across the rear of each of said rack sections spaced above said mounting base means, said bar having first and second ends;

said first end of said bar being rotatably mounted to said rack section adjacent said outside thereof;

said bar being integrally rotatable about said first end thereof into a vertical position;

means for holding said bar in a vertical position;

releasable securing means connecting said second end of said bar to said inside of said rack section;

at least one translucent window in at least one side of said bar, said translucent window defining an automobile rear light lens;

and electric light means in said bar for projecting light through said translucent window, said light means being adapted to connect with an automobile electrical system.

2. In combination:

a luggage carrier rack adapted to mount to the top of an automobile;

said luggage rack having two separate rack sections,

each said rack section having a front and rear, an inside, an outside and mounting base means for mounting said rack section to an automobile roof;

a rear retaining rail along said rear of said rack section spaced above said mounting base means;

an elongate bar extending across the rear of each of said rack sections adjacent said rear retaining rail, said bar having first and second ends;

said first end of said bar being rotatably mounted to said rack section adjacent said outside thereof;

said bar being integrally rotatable about said first end thereof into a vertical position;

means for holding said bar in a vertical position;

releasable securing means connecting said second end of said bar to said inside of said rack section;

a first elongate translucent window in one side of said bar extending over the principal portion thereof, said translucent window defining an automobile rear light lens and having integral light diffusing means for elongate distribution of light projected therethrough;

a second translucent window in said bar opposite said first window;

and electric light means in said bar for projecting light through both said first and second translucent windows, said light means being adapted to connect with an automobile electrical system.

3. In combination:

a luggage carrier rack unit adapted to mount to the top of an automobile;

said luggage carrier rack unit having front, rear and side portions and means for mounting said rack unit to an automobile roof;

an elongate bar extending substantially horizontally at the rear portion of said luggage carrier rack unit and spaced above said mounting means, said bar having first and second ends;

said first end of said bar being rotatably mounted to said luggage carrier rack unit;

said bar being integrally rotatable about said first end References Cited thereof into a vertical position; UNITED STATES PATENTS releasable securing means connecting said second end of said bar to said luggage carrier rack unit; Beyer 240-4822 at least one translucent window in at least one side of 5 g 7/ 19 g Hagerty et a X said bar, said translucent window defining an auto- 2/19 Rogers 2A0 7'1 X i 2,843,729 7/ 195 8 Materese 240-7.35 mobile rear light lens, 2 I and electric light means in said bar for projecting light 322x30 '12/1965 Helm through said translucent window, said light means g e1- being adapted to connect With an automobile electri- 1O ompler cal system. NORTON ANSHER, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1579855 *Sep 17, 1924Apr 6, 1926Rae Lite Mfg CoParking lamp
US2251050 *Dec 31, 1937Jul 29, 1941Adlake CoBaggage rack
US2584292 *Mar 14, 1950Feb 5, 1952Rogers Harvey RStop light mechanism for motor vehicles
US2843729 *Mar 30, 1955Jul 15, 1958Mink Dayton IncIlluminating baggage rack
US3223302 *Nov 1, 1962Dec 14, 1965Helm Accessories IncCar top ski rack
US3281030 *Dec 17, 1965Oct 25, 1966Fed Sign And Signal CorpVehicle roof carrier
US3287548 *Jul 9, 1964Nov 22, 1966Kompier Paul GHighway safety light for automotive vehicles
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3487360 *Apr 2, 1968Dec 30, 1969Thompson Alvin LExtend above car top light
US3622980 *Aug 5, 1968Nov 23, 1971Cassell Co IncDirectional warning system
US3784974 *May 14, 1971Jan 8, 1974Hamashige CDriver{40 s communicating signal lights for accelerating, braking and turning operations
US4180010 *Jan 9, 1978Dec 25, 1979Mcdermott Julian AMount for vehicular warning lights
US4269339 *Apr 27, 1979May 26, 1981Bott John AnthonyLuggage carrier with illuminating means
US4534496 *Jan 18, 1984Aug 13, 1985Bott John AnthonyLuggage carrier with illuminating means
US4800470 *Sep 8, 1987Jan 24, 1989Hartsaw Robert EIlluminated cargo rack
US4823996 *Jul 24, 1987Apr 25, 1989Mosher Patrick WRoof-top accessory bar, and methods of constructing and utilizing same
US4835515 *Oct 13, 1987May 30, 1989Mcdermott Julian AVehicle-warning signal light
US5171083 *Sep 10, 1991Dec 15, 1992Ltc Roll & Engineering Co.Combined luggage rack and concealed lights for vehicle roof
US6114954 *Apr 1, 1999Sep 5, 2000Palett; Anthony P.Luggage carrier with illumination means
US6682210 *Jan 11, 2002Jan 27, 2004Whelen Engineering Company, Inc.Tip-up light bar assembly
US6785991Apr 18, 2002Sep 7, 2004Timothy C. ColipCollapsible traffic control sign
Classifications
U.S. Classification362/493, 224/326
International ClassificationB60Q1/26
Cooperative ClassificationB60Q1/2611
European ClassificationB60Q1/26D